Study explores cannabis use in young adult cancer patients

Cannabis can help alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer and its treatment, and a new study examines the prevalence of its use among young adult cancer patients now that medical cannabis is becoming increasingly available. The demographic and clinical factors likely to correlate with cannabis use and differences in moderate to severe symptoms between users and non-users are reported in a study published in Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (JAYAO), a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Kristine Donovan, PhD, MBA and colleagues from Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL coauthored the article entitled "Cannabis Use in Young Adult Cancer Patients." On urine drug testing for a breakdown product of cannabis, they showed that 30% of young adult cancer patients ages 18 to 39 tested positive. The researchers report that this prevalence rate of cannabis use is higher than for young adults in the general population and adult cancer patients seeking specialized symptom management. Young adult cannabis users were more likely to be male and, surprisingly, to report having more severe symptoms, including pain, nausea, lack of appetite, constipation, and difficulty sleeping.

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PHARMA TECH

Frontage Laboratories Acquires Accelera S.r.l.'s Bioanalytical and DMPK Businesses

PR Newswire | January 03, 2024

Frontage Laboratories, Inc. today announced that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Frontage Europe S.r.l., it has completed the acquisition of the Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics businesses of Accelera S.r.l (Accelera). Accelera is a premier Contract Research Organization located in Nerviano, within the Lombardy region of Italy, part of the well-established NMS Group S.p.A. which has positioned itself as a global niche player in delivering discovery & preclinical studies and clinical bioanalysis to pharma and biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and other healthcare stakeholders. "Today marks a very significant achievement in the 23-year history of Frontage Laboratories, as we establish a base of operations in continental Europe. Accelera has developed a tremendous reputation for high quality R&D services and we look forward to welcoming their Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics teams to the Frontage family," said Dr. Abdul Mutlib, CEO of Frontage. "We envision this strategic acquisition as a first step in establishing Frontage's footprint in Europe, with the intent of adding other service areas in the continent. We believe both existing Frontage and Accelera clients stand to benefit greatly by leveraging Frontage's increasingly global platform. In addition, we are looking forward to partnering with the remaining Accelera business on exciting opportunities to service clients across our organizations." According to Dr. Song Li, Founder and Chairman of Frontage: "It has been a long-standing goal of Frontage to expand our operations in Europe. We consider ourselves fortunate to capitalize on our outstanding relationship with the Accelera team, which has enabled us to bring our plans to fruition. We are very enthusiastic about working together as we further develop the Frontage platform in Europe, starting from a footprint in the Biopark in Nerviano Lombardy, where Accelera and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl have already established a long-standing and efficient value chain. As always, our ongoing focus will remain on delivering the highest levels of quality, technology and expertise to our clients." "We are thrilled to join forces with Frontage as part of this strategic acquisition that marks a significant milestone in Accelera's journey," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera. "Accelera has built a strong reputation for delivering high-quality R&D services through all phases of drug research and development with extensive experience in oncology. This unique occasion opens up new horizons for collaboration and growth. On one hand, we will further focus on offering top-notch In-vivo (end-to-end services) for multiple emerging modalities. At the same time, we look forward to exploring exciting opportunities to serve our clients across continents through our ongoing collaboration. This partnership reflects our commitment to advancing research and providing innovative solutions in the European market and beyond," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera S.r.l. "Having Frontage as part of the growing partners operating from our Biopark is a landmark moment for us. In addition to the endless potential of the Accelera-Frontage collaboration, Nerviano Medical Sciences can leverage Frontage's world-class capabilities to drive breakthrough advancements in our drug discovery and development process. By uniting our strengths, we believe we can accelerate the pace of innovation and make a lasting difference in the field where all companies of this strong alliance operate and thrive here in Nerviano," said Hugues Dolgos, CEO of NMS Group S.p.A and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl. About Frontage Frontage Holdings Corp (1521.HK), together with its wholly owned subsidiary Frontage Laboratories, Inc., is a global Contract Research Organization (CRO) which provides integrated, science-driven, product development services from drug discovery to late phase clinical process to enable biopharmaceutical companies to achieve their development goals. Comprehensive services include drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, analytical testing and formulation development, preclinical and clinical trial material manufacturing, bioanalysis, preclinical safety and toxicology assessment and early phase clinical studies. Frontage has enabled many biotechnology companies and leading pharmaceutical companies of varying sizes to advance a myriad of new molecules through development and to successfully file global regulatory submissions. About NMS Group NMS Group is the largest oncological R&D company in Italy with more than 400 employees, of whom more than half are highly educated individuals dedicated to innovative research, development and manufacturing. The NMS kinase inhibitor discovery platform as well as the antibody-conjugating payload platform are the driving forces of the group's innovation, securing global recognition of NMS in personalized therapy. Recently entrectinib, originally discovered by NMS, which is a targeted kinase inhibitor used to treat NTRK1/2/3 and ROS1 dependent solid tumors that was licensed to Ignyta, now a member of the Roche Group, gained approvals for commercialization in all major markets. This is further evidence of the competitiveness of the drug discovery platform of NMS Group. NMS Group has three subsidiaries. NMS S.r.l. is a FIC / BIC focused drug research and development company with a robust pipeline of more than a dozen anti-cancer projects, and three of the projects are currently in early clinical development.

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PHARMA TECH, PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Lilly Launches End-to-End Digital Healthcare Experience through LillyDirect

PR Newswire | January 05, 2024

Eli Lilly and Company today announced LillyDirect, a new digital healthcare experience for patients in the U.S. living with obesity, migraine and diabetes. LillyDirect offers disease management resources, including access to independent healthcare providers*, tailored support, and direct home delivery of select Lilly medicines through third-party pharmacy dispensing services. "A complex U.S. healthcare system adds to the burdens patients face when managing a chronic disease. With LillyDirect, our goal is to relieve some of those burdens by simplifying the patient experience to help improve outcomes," said David A. Ricks, Lilly's chair and CEO. "LillyDirect offers more choices in how and where people access healthcare, including a convenient home delivery option to fill Lilly medicines they have been prescribed." For patients living with obesity, migraine and diabetes, LillyDirect offers: LillyDirect Pharmacy Solutions, a digital pharmacy for select Lilly medicines powered by third party online pharmacy fulfillment services. LillyDirect Pharmacy Solutions gives patients a simple option to get consistent access to Lilly medicines they have been prescribed with the added convenience of home delivery. By obtaining medicines directly from Lilly, patients can easily access Lilly's affordability solutions and savings card opportunities are automatically applied for patients who qualify. Medicines fulfilled by pharmacy service providers through LillyDirect Pharmacy Solutions ship free of charge. Disease state and healthcare educational information to help empower and support patients on their care journeys. Access to independent telehealth providers that could complement a patient's current primary care team or be an alternative to in-person care for certain conditions. An independent search tool that allows a patient to find healthcare professionals near them if they prefer in-person care. "We know that people have come to depend on the efficiency and convenience of digital solutions to meet a variety of their everyday needs – healthcare being one of them," said Frank Cunningham, group vice president, global value and access at Lilly. "We launched LillyDirect with the hope that it will offer patients an innovative end-to-end experience to manage their health and access their medicines, so they can get back to living their lives." LillyDirect will continue to be updated and expanded to improve the customer experience. Future updates may include new products, partners and services, such as programs designed to help patients with adherence to their medicines. About Lilly Lilly unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We've been pioneering life-changing discoveries for nearly 150 years, and today our medicines help more than 51 million people across the globe. Harnessing the power of biotechnology, chemistry and genetic medicine, our scientists are urgently advancing new discoveries to solve some of the world's most significant health challenges, redefining diabetes care, treating obesity and curtailing its most devastating long-term effects, advancing the fight against Alzheimer's disease, providing solutions to some of the most debilitating immune system disorders, and transforming the most difficult-to-treat cancers into manageable diseases. With each step toward a healthier world, we're motivated by one thing: making life better for millions more people. That includes delivering innovative clinical trials that reflect the diversity of our world and working to ensure our medicines are accessible and affordable.

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RESEARCH

ISOMORPHIC LABS ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC MULTI-TARGET RESEARCH COLLABORATION WITH LILLY

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

Isomorphic Labs, a digital biology company with a mission to redefine drug discovery using the power of artificial intelligence, today announced that it has entered into a strategic research collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company. This marks Isomorphic Labs' first pharmaceutical partnership. Under the terms of the agreement, Isomorphic Labs will partner with Lilly to discover small molecule therapeutics against multiple targets and will receive an upfront cash payment of $45 million. Isomorphic Labs is eligible to receive up to $1.7 billion in performance-based milestone payments, excluding the upfront payment and any subsequent tiered royalties of up to low double digits on net sales. "We're thrilled to embark on this partnership and apply our proprietary technology platform, the next generation of AlphaFold, and access to massive computing power to Lilly's development programs," said Demis Hassabis, CEO and founder of Isomorphic Labs. "The focus we share on advancing groundbreaking drug design approaches and appreciation of state-of-the-art science makes this partnership particularly compelling." Isomorphic Labs operates autonomously within Alphabet, with its own dedicated resources and exclusive focus on the application of AI to drug discovery. The company is reimagining the entire drug discovery process from first principles with an AI-first approach, working to build powerful new predictive and generative models of biological phenomena to anticipate how drugs will perform and design novel molecules. Building on the success of AlphaFold and working in collaboration with Google DeepMind, Isomorphic Labs has made remarkable progress in developing the Next Generation of AlphaFold. This new iteration of AlphaFold expands beyond proteins to include small molecules and nucleic acids. Through deep integration of this next generation AlphaFold with other breakthrough AI models developed at Isomorphic Labs, the company is able to better understand the underlying biological mechanisms of drug targets, and rationally design novel therapeutics. ABOUT ISOMORPHIC LABS Isomorphic Labs is an autonomous subsidiary of Alphabet that was launched from Alphabet's DeepMind in 2021 to build on the success of AlphaFold, the company's groundbreaking work in protein folding. That work was heralded as the 'Breakthrough of the Year' by Science and 'Method of the Year' by Nature in 2021. Based in London and now with a second location in Lausanne, Switzerland, Isomorphic Labs was founded and is led by AI pioneer Demis Hassabis, who also co-founded and leads Google DeepMind. As pioneers in digital biology, the company's mission is to use AI to accelerate drug discovery and ultimately find cures for some of humanity's most devastating diseases. Using its AI-first approach to drug discovery and biology, the company's ambition is to advance a new era of medical breakthroughs.

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